‘Deeply concerned’ – Increasing demand for adult social in Doncaster is council’s biggest pressure
Current and increasing demand for adult social care across Doncaster remains the council’s biggest pressure, figures show.
The local authority’s Strategic Risk Profile which is sent to Cabinet every three months, measures the likelihood and impact of a problem the council could suffer.
Adult social care pressures was scored at 20 out of 25 for the end of quarter three (October to December).
Documents show Steve Mawson, the council’s chief financial officer, is ‘deeply concerned’ about the impact of on-going budget pressures and impact in 2020/21.
Bosses said the social care transformation programme is ‘currently overstretched’ which has prompted an 'ongoing review’.
Finances show the adult social care budget is the single biggest financial pressure the council faces forecasting a £700,000 overspend.
Council chiefs say this is down to additional demand and increased average costs of all types of placements in care totalling £1.5 million which includes older people residential placements forecast to overspend by £900,000.
The figure is brought down by ‘vacancy savings’ mainly within the communities team.
Documents show ‘key operational management posts’ have been filled with a permanent head of service who has started and is ‘making an impact’ by ‘providing additional support’ to the transformation programme.
A strategic lead officer is now said in place to head up on financial aspects of Adults Health and Wellbeing, including ‘savings initiatives’ as part of current year finances and future budget setting.
A spokesman from the adult social care team said: “The savings expected during the year will not all be possible since the demand for services is not decreasing.
“Although the pressures are being managed in 2018/19 and we have a clear balanced plan for 2019/20 (subject to approval), the chief financial officer remains deeply concerned about the impact of the on-going budget pressures and impact in 2020/21.
“Balancing 2020/21 will require delivering on-going savings to bridge the gap between funding available and rising costs; use of one-off reserves is not a sustainable solution.
“Further work will commence early in 2019/20 to identify additional savings and understand the impact of the local government funding settlement for 2020/21.”